Last Updated: Mar. 10, 2015

Big Six



Introduction



This name goes by various names: Big Six, Wheel of Fortune, Money Wheel, Big Wheel, and Lucky Wheel. Whatever the name, it is a big vertical wheel where the player bets on the number it will stop on. The odds are conveniently the same as the number. For example, a bet on 5 will pay 5 to 1.

The odds are pretty bad but at least you can count it usually being staffed by the front door with an attractive well-endowed dealer. Just one of those Vegas traditions.

Las Vegas Rules



The following table shows the betting options, payout odds, number on wheel, and the house edge under the Las Vegas rules Big Six rules.

Big Six House Edge

Bet Pays Number
on Wheel
Probability House
Edge
$1 1 24 44.44% 11.11%
$2 2 15 27.78% 16.67%
$5 5 7 12.96% 22.22%
$10 10 4 7.41% 18.52%
$20 20 2 3.70% 22.22%
Logo #1 40 1 1.85% 24.07%
Logo #2 40 1 1.85% 24.07%

As far as I know, every casino in the U.S. follows the Las Vegas rules, except in Atlantic City.

Atlantic City Rules

The Atlantic City rules are the same as the Las Vegas rules, except the joker and logo pay 45 to 1, instead of 40 to 1. This lowers the house edge on those two bets to 14.81%. Some other casino in the eastern U.S., outside Atlantic City, have been known to follow this rule.

Charles Town Rules

According to their web site, the Hollywood Casino in Charles Town, West Virginia, changes one of the $1 slots to a $5. Otherwise, they follow the Las Vegas rules. That changes the odds as follows.

Big Six — Charles Town WV Rules

Bet Pays Number
on Wheel
Probability House
Edge
$1 1 23 42.59% 14.81%
$2 2 15 27.78% 16.67%
$5 5 8 14.81% 11.11%
$10 10 4 7.41% 18.52%
$20 20 2 3.70% 22.22%
Logo #1 40 1 1.85% 24.07%
Logo #2 40 1 1.85% 24.07%

Macau Rules



In Macau there is a similar game. One or two wheels each can be found in the larger casinos. It does not seem to be a popular game there. The game wheel is the same size, but instead of dollars, it has colors. The table below shows the number of stops on the wheel, probability, and return for each bet. The table shows the best bet is tied for orange, purple, and green, at 7.69% each.

Big Six — Macau Rules

Bet Pays Number
on Wheel
Probability House
Edge
Orange 1 24 46.15% 7.69%
Purple 3 12 23.08% 7.69%
Green 5 8 15.38% 7.69%
Blue 10 4 7.69% 15.38%
Yellow 20 2 3.85% 19.23%
Logo 1 45 1 1.92% 11.54%
Logo 2 45 1 1.92% 11.54%

Australia Rules

The Star City casino in Sydney has a similar game, called the "Big Wheel." Instead of money, it uses native Australian animals. As the following table shows, the house edge is the same on all bets at 7.69%.

Big Six — Australia Rules

Bet Pays Number
on Wheel
Probability House
Edge
Koala 1 24 46.15% 7.69%
Kookaburra 3 12 23.08% 7.69%
Lizard 5 8 15.38% 7.69%
Echidna 11 4 7.69% 7.69%
Platypus 23 2 3.85% 7.69%
Emu 47 1 1.92% 7.69%
Kangaroo 47 1 1.92% 7.69%

Aruze Lucky Big Wheel



Lucky Big Wheel is an electronic version of Big Six by Aruze that I have seen at lots of casinos beginning in 2012. It has a wheel that is even larger than the kind with a dealer, has more stops, and a lower house edge. The following tables show the bets available, the number of stops for each one, the probability of winning, and house edge. I've seen two different versions, which I'll call the American and Australian. The Australian wheel I saw at the Star City casino in Sydney in December, 2014.

Aruze Lucky Big Wheel — American Version

Bet Pays Number
on Wheel
Probability House
Edge
$1 1 26 48.15% 3.70%
$3 3 13 24.07% 3.70%
$6 6 7 12.96% 9.26%
$12 12 4 7.41% 3.70%
$25 25 2 3.70% 3.70%
Logo 1 50 1 1.85% 5.56%
Logo 2 50 1 1.85% 5.56%
Total 54 100.00%

Aruze Lucky Big Wheel — Australian Version

Bet Pays Number
on Wheel
Probability House
Edge
1 1 26 48.15% 3.70%
3 3 13 24.07% 3.70%
6.5 6.5 7 12.96% 2.78%
12 12 4 7.41% 3.70%
25 25 2 3.70% 3.70%
Joker 52 1 1.85% 1.85%
Flag 52 1 1.85% 1.85%
Total 54 100.00%


The house edge on both versions of the Aruze game is significantly less than standard Big Six, with a live dealer.

Gamesys Wheel of Fortune





Internet casinos using Gamesys software have two wheel of fortune games. Both have a 49-stop wheel with prizes of $1, $3, $7, $15, $23, and $47. The following table shows the number of stops of each win, what it pays, probability of winning, and house edge. As you can see, every bet has a house edge of 2.04%. That is the best Big Six/Wheel of Fortune game I've ever seen, by far.

Aruze Lucky Big Wheel — American Version

Bet Pays Number
on Wheel
Probability House
Edge
1 1 24 0.489796 0.020408
3 3 12 0.244898 0.020408
7 7 6 0.122449 0.020408
15 15 3 0.061224 0.020408
23 23 2 0.040816 0.020408
Logo 47 1 0.020408 0.020408
Joker 47 1 0.020408 0.020408
Total 49 1.000000


The also have a "zero house edge" version. In that game the rules are the same, except:

  • If the wheel stops on the Logo, then any bet besides the Logo shall push, instead of lose.
  • If the wheel stops on the Joker, then any bet on the Logo shall push, instead of lose.


By changing one stop from a loss to a push on all bets, that does indeed make the house edge exactly 0.00%. However, there is a catch. The player must pay a 10% commission on any net win per "gambling session." Any break between bets of an hour or more shall end a session and no session may last over 24 hours.

Money Wheel



Money Wheel is a similar game to Big Six, but involves multipliers and extra spins. I felt it was significantly different to make a separate page for it.

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